You’ve been dating this girl for a few months. You really like her. Problem is, she doesn’t like that your best friend is another girl. You’ve explained time and time again that you’re just friends- there’s nothing there, and she has nothing to worry about. But have you taken all the steps possible to ensure this is true? Here is a checklist to ensure your relationship and your friendship are healthy and on the right path.
Discuss with your partner what boundaries need to be put in place for them to be comfortable. These could be things like- What is okay to discuss with your friends in regards to the relationship? How much time is reasonable to spend together and where would be acceptable? The goal here is to have a talk with your partner and be sure to not place yourself in any vulnerable positions. Talking through areas that might make your partner feel insecure will create ease between all parties.
Be sure your friend is not just spending time with you, but also with your partner. This will help put any jealousy or confusion about the friendship at ease. This doesn’t mean every interaction has to be with your partner and your friend- but including your partner every now and then will create security. Encouraging your partner and your friend to get to know each other, and to become friends themselves, will build trust between them.
Walls are the privacy things you do not share or keep to yourself, whereas windows are things you open up about and let others in on. If you have more walls placed with your partner and more windows open with your friend, this can cause a great deal of tension and jealousy (and space for infidelity). We’re not saying you need to put walls up with your friends immediately, however opening up more windows with your partner and less with your friends moving forward is ideal for maintaining balance.
Have you taken a step back to re-evaluate the friendship to see if you might be crossing some boundaries? It is better to err on the side of caution than to have a situation come about that you were ready for. Be honest with yourself and your partner about your feelings. Don’t wait until a compromising situation arises before addressing any issue or attraction. Let your partner know how you are feeling and then decide how to proceed as a unit.
Following these four steps will help you to ensure your relationship and friendship are able to coexist without creating tension or jealousy. You shouldn’t be dropping a friendship for the sake of a relationship, or vice versa.